Saint Louis took advantage of some early Missouri State charity to open up a double-digit lead late in the first half and never looked back to claim a 68-53 victory in Saturday (Nov. 29) night’s non-conference match-up with the Lady Bears. Junior guard Theresa Lisch led four Billikens in double figures with a game-high 20 points, as the home team forced 26 turnovers in all to send MSU to its fourth loss in five games this season.
Despite shooting just 34.4 percent (11-of-32) from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes, the Billikens converted 12 of their 17 tries from the free throw line and forced 14 first-half turnovers to establish a lead they would never relinquish.
Missouri State once again got off to a slow start offensively, going nearly five minutes without a field goal at the onset of the contest. SLU grabbed an early 6-0 lead, but freshman guard Casey Garrison responded with four straight points for the Lady Bears to trim the deficit to two. SLU proceeded to score 16 of the next 21 points to extend its lead to 22-11 on an Amanda Kemezys basket with 7:28 to play in the half.
The Lady Bears used a 7-2 spurt, capped by a Roxy Stiles three-pointer, to pull to within six points at the 5:56 mark.
But the Bills ended the half on an 11-5 run, getting a Lauren Woods lay-in with just one second left on the clock to head into the break with a 35-23 advantage. Saint Louis picked up right where it left off to open the second half, outscoring the Lady Bears 9-1 to push its lead to 20 points on a jumper by Alisha Goodwin wtih 14:02 to go.
The Lady Bears used a 10-4 scoring run to drew to within 11 points with just under four minutes remaining, but SLU sealed their second win of the season by reeling off nine of the next 11 points.
The Billikens heated up from the field in the second half, hitting on 12-of-22 (.545) attempts, while MSU continued to search for its rhythm. The Lady Bears knocked down just 7-of-21 tries after intermission to finish the game only 15-of-42 from the floor. SLU also made the Lady Bears pay for some turnover troubles, turning 26 MSU giveaways into a 27-13 advantage in points off turnovers for the contest.
Goodwin (14 points), Kemezys (13) and Woods (10) also finished in double figures for the Bills.
Garrison led the Lady Bears in scoring for the third straight game, finishing with 14 points on the strength of an 8-of-9 effort from the foul line, while Maggie Dwyer tallied 13 points.